Historic walkway is given a makeover
Work has begun to tackle the effects of wear and tear on Leicester's New Walk.
On Monday, contractors began to lay down surfacing, which is made by mixing gravel with glue, on the 200-year-old footpath.
The work, which will cost about £200,000, will also involve closing the section between King Street and the Waterloo Way bridge on October 7 and October 21.
Assistant city mayor Rory Palmer said there would still be access to businesses on those days and that inconvenience would be kept to a minimum.
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He said: "I walk along New Walk every day and it's time for a bit of improvement.
"It's just the effects of wear and tear. Safety isn't an issue at the moment but, as the surface deteriorates, it can become a problem. When these works take place there's going to be disruption, but we will aim to keep it to an absolute minimum."
The footpath, which dates from 1785, was last resurfaced in 2003, when lottery cash, Leicester City Council funds, Friends of New Walk money and an East Midlands Development Agency grant set up a £2 million pot for maintaining the historic path.
Cash left over from that work will pay for the new project, which is expected to take four weeks.
While the busiest parts of New Walk near the city centre will be completely resurfaced, patches of damage in less used areas will be repaired with smaller areas of gravel.
Businesses in the section of New Walk that will be affected by the Sunday closures had mixed views.
Mark Sparry, assistant manager of Revolution bar said: "It's going to be quite disruptive. I don't know why they're doing it when the students are back, when they had the summer to do it."
Greg Hollingsworth, of Hollingsworths Solicitors, said the work would not cause disruption for his company.
He said: "We're very privileged to have New Walk in the city and any work that improves it is a good thing."
John Flynn, director at Maloy & Flynn Recruitment, said: "New Walk has been dug up recently along our stretch and it's looking a bit patchy.
"When they resurface it I just hope they'll sort out everything underground first so they don't have to dig it up again."
Mark Dunkley, clerk to the trustees of the Friends of New Walk Charitable Trust, said: "I think the surface is beginning to deteriorate and there are some potholes appearing.
"It's time for this to be done and I'm sure the work will be done sensitively to minimise the inconvenience."